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Best homemade spicy cocktail sauce?

Most cocktail sauces seem to call for ketchup, lemon juice, tabasco, Worcestershire and horseradish to taste. Is there anything else that can make a better version of this classic? Homemade ketchup?

I look forward to your thoughts.

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  1. I use thickened cream and a little brandy - mostly with the ingredients you mentioned but I rarely have horseradish on hand. Sometimes I add paprika, a little nutmeg, or some cayenne pepper to add a bit of heat.

    I'm not sure if that would sound weird to you - I'm in Australia - our seafood sauce is, more often than not, probably creamier than you're used to (just judging by your original post).

    Wikipedia's entry describes different cultural conventions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail...

    1. I use chili sauce instead of ketchup. And lemon zest.

      1. For the holidays, I usually do two versions of shrimp cocktail; one traditional sauce like you've illustrated and one with lime instead of lemon and minced cilantro for a heat alternative to horseradish. I serve two platters of shrimp; the steamed shrimp chilled out of the shell (tail on) and warm grilled with a white wine marinade.

        1. I'm big on chili sauce instead of ketchup, better flavor, a bit more texture, imo, with horseradish, lemon juice and hot sauce. A little Worcestershire doesn't hurt. Homemade chunky ketchup would be nice as a base.

          I used to make a peachy cocktail sauce, a combo of homemade mayo and sour cream or creme fraiche, cayenne pepper, flavorful fresh or frozen peaches, diced very fine, a little lemon juice, and a good shot of peach brandy. Season with salt and white pepper. Weirdish, but tasty on grilled or oven roasted shrimp.

          1. There was a good thread on this in the Favorite Condiments topic.

            2 Replies
            1. re: GraydonCarter

              could you link that thread here, GC.

              1. re: HillJ

                Heh, now I can't find it or I was imagining it.

                However, I did find this 'Favorite Cocktail Sauce" topic:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/488589